Monday, February 3, 2014

The Art of Extreme Self-care Chapter 2

Happy Love Month and welcome to The Art of Extreme Self-care postpartum style. For those of you who are new to my blog, last December I announced I would be doing a read-a-long of The Art of Extreme Self-care by Cheryl Richardson and sharing with you how I applied the principles of the book in a postpartum setting.  We will focusing on one chapter a month. Last chapter was about recognizing areas in life where you feel deprived. Let's dive into chapter 2.

Chapter 2

Mirror Work

What I got out if it:
I have to be honest here. When I first read this chapter months ago, I was like "what?" First, I thought it was vain to stare at oneself in the mirror and who the heck has time to tell themselves "I love you and I accept you right now" multiple times a day? But I tried to practice it as much as possible. I felt so silly. After a couple of days I pretty much stopped. Then last month when I was rereading the chapter, I also listened to a bunch of wonderful lectures from Hayhouse New You Now webinar series and it came up again. This time I got serious.

Here's what I noticed:
It took a couple of days for me to get over my aversion to gazing into my eyes in a mirror. Before I used to notice all my flaws when I looked in the mirror, but now I saw my eyes and all the various shades of brown that decorated the irises.

And then I looked deeper. I finally understood the truth behind the saying "eyes are windows into the soul." I started to use the mirror for help when I would get stuck on a project at work or in a scene while writing and ask "what is holding me back?" The answer didn't come right away, but if I looked deep enough I felt a shift as if the block moved aside and could proceed. My productivity increased in my job and at home and I actually started feeling really good about myself which felt good after spending an entire year NOT enjoying my mental state.

I also discovered that you really do have to love yourself in order to feel better and to love those around you. Because when I love myself I make better choices and take better care of myself. By doing so I am more present and am able to give the top notch attention I want to my family. Now I don't feel so silly saying "I love you, Melania, and accept you right now."

Have you peeked into your mirror lately?

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